Occupying spaces where you are one of a select few or the “only”…the only woman, the only person of color, the only non-binary person…etc. can be a truly isolating experience. The treatment you experience as a marginalized person can not only make you feel alone, but it can also make you feel ‘less than’ or like you don’t belong. This, my friends is the root of imposter syndrome. This syndrome will have you believing you are made of cheap plastic, when in fact, you AND your credentials are as strong, resilient and valuable as platinum. Never again will we allow imposter syndrome to make us see ourselves as anything but what we are, GOLDEN.

Season One Remix Episode 1.10,  Feeling Real Fake: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, discusses “Imposter Syndrome,” a disease most often prescribed to women characterized by internal feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and/or lack of belonging in the workplace that often ignores the external factors that contribute to these feelings. Join Syd and guest, Abimbola Oladokun, as they explore the internal and external factors that have contributed to their feelings of imposter syndrome and the tools/resources they have used to combat those feelings.

Abimbola is a San Francisco-based tech attorney. She’s a lifelong learner, fashionista, traveler, and enjoys spending time with loved ones. When not posting various IG stories about how she sees the world, you can find her planning her next trip or reviewing Netflix for her next fix. You can find her on IG at @the.a.league.

Show Notes:

Definition: According to the Harvard Business Review, Imposter syndrome is a label characterized by INTERNAL feelings of doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments that is often assigned to women. One issue with the characterization is that it doesn’t take into account the EXTERNAL factors that ultimately contribute to these feelings for women.

What external experiences have caused you to question your place in a professional setting?

  • Seeds of imposter syndrome were planted as early as middle school for Abi when she felf that she was “othered” in homogenous spaces by asking her, the only Black kid in class if she belonged in an Honors Class when other students have to submit any proof of their belonging
  • In professional settings, the way people talk to her, not getting promoted, the way people have treated her have contributed to her questioning her place at work
  • Microaggressions in the workplace against persons of color can be characterized as death by one million paper cuts because most acts committed against marginalized people are small and covert but over time have the cumulative effect of making people feel like they don’t belong
  • The experiences of most Black and Brown people is different than their more privileged counterparts because Black and Brown people tend to have less access and connection to these spaces by virtue of being the first or the second person in their families to gain access to certain spaces.
  • Experience also may differ based on socio-economic background. It can be difficult to thrive in competitive academic or professional spaces when you’re also trying to manage your survival.
  • Imposter Syndrome can be traumatic because in most cases imposter syndrome manifests itself as repeated instances and experiences that may have scarred you that you need to heal from.
  • Having to do more and be better than counterparts in order to find success.
  • Differences not being valued and/or understood in the workplace

What internal experiences or thoughts have caused you to question your place in a professional setting?

  • A lack of celebration or acknowledgement of successes because of a feeling that you are doing what you’re supposed to do to survive verses that you’ve done something great
  • Internal feelings of unworthiness because you haven’t “suffered” enough to earn your place
  • Internal thoughts of being unfairly critical of EVERY thought, action and behavior based on a fear that every mistake or misstep may cause you to lose your job or irreparably tarnish your reputation

What work have you done to build your confidence over the years and reinforce the fact that you’ve earned your place in the world?

  • Give myself grace—It’s okay to make mistakes
  • Practice Gratitude
  • Learning to work in a way that’s not abut exacting revenge on those who may have harmed you
  • Trust the fact that you’ve done the work
  • Build a thick skin

Advice for overcoming imposter syndrome

  • Figure out what makes you happy, brings you joy and grounds you and do those things OFTEN
  • Develop a support system that keeps you grounded during the tough time

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Hosts & Guests

Sydnee Mack (Host)

Abimbola Oladokun (Guest)


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